Coming this July 2017 is a play about love, courage and power. The Great Wall, based on an enduring and moving Chinese folktale, is poised to break down barriers while captivating and inspiring audiences from all backgrounds.
Set against the epic backdrop of imperial China, it tells the tale of an ordinary woman’s strong resolve in the face of the greatest power she knows, the Emperor.
The Great Wall is a six-year labour of love from the nouveau theatre company, Glowtape Productions. According to Grace Low, the company’s founder and producer for this play, the story depicts “the urgent need to break down walls, to reach out and listen to others who may be different from us”.
The production features familiar faces like homegrown singer-songwriter Nathan Hartono and Dutch-Korean actress Na-Young Jeon as the leads. Made by Australian director Darren Yap, it’s based on the original script by local playwright, Jean Tay, and also contains an original musical score by UK composer, David Shrubsole.
the story depicts “the urgent need to break down walls, to reach out and listen to others who may be different from us”
For this new musical work, the team had to go through many challenges; chiefly those that came up due to working with such an international team. They had to arrange their schedules according to various time zones (ranging from the United Kingdom to Australia) just to be able to discuss the project.
Fortunately, towards the end, they were able to meet for quite a few workshops in Singapore, which was when everything began to fall into place. “[The] workshops over the last few years really helped to bring the process together.” Darren said.
Darren also laments on how difficult it was making casting decisions – it took many years before they were able to decide on a final cast for the play’s characters.
When Darren finally approached George Chan, a veteran Singaporean actor and director, to play the Emperor, George was only too pleased to accept it.
“How can you say no to the chance of playing the first emperor of China!? Qin Shi Huang fascinated people, he was known for his harshness and tyranny. This musical interpretation allows the chance to paint a different side of him,” George said.
“How can you say no to the chance of playing the first emperor of China!?” George said.
Darren is also grateful that his cast are not only talented actors in their own right but that they are able to work well together. “We were also lucky to get Nathan onboard to play the role. He brings a wonderful energy to the room, and has incredible chemistry with Na-Young.” Darren said.
Returning from his stint on Sing!China, Nathan Hartono is excited to get back into musical theatre. “It is incredible to be part of this production. I can’t wait to go back on stage and share this with audiences”
The cast and crew are committed to sharing with the audience their love for story-telling, acting, music and theatre. Darren and Jean hope that the play would be able to open up new conversations about standing up against abuse and discrimination, and that this story is able support the narrative of a woman that can be a hero and not just a victim.
“In these times of political turmoil around the world, it’s even more vital for us to find courage to stand up to injustices and ensure that our voices are heard. Just as important is the need to reach out to those different from us, and to listen with humility and act with compassion.”
What are you waiting for? Tickets are on sale now!
The Great Wall: One Woman’s Journey
When: 14-30 July 2017, Tuesday to Friday 8pm; Saturday 3pm and 8pm; Sunday 3pm.
Where: Drama Centre Theatre
Tickets: $58 – $128 (Tickets on sale at www.sistic.com.sg, or call 6348 5555)
Language: English with Chinese subtitles
Discounts: 20% Discount for Local and Overseas Students (For Cat 1 to Cat 4, Applicable for all shows except for shows on Friday and Saturday, A valid Student Pass is required)
*All rights for the images in this post remain with Glowtape Productions and were used with permission.